It was three months before Dad passed away when he gave me this gift. I had no idea the value of it... until after he was gone.
As though he knew he was leaving, Dad and I were together a lot during his final days. On this particular afternoon, he was acting very strange. I'd never seen him so uneasy and scattered. Something was stirring his insides and we was not comfortable. He started hinting about a feeling he wanted to create and allow... but couldn't. He asked me if I would coach him (a first), so he could release what was blocking him. I was grateful to help as he was always the one helping me. We'd been exploring consciousness a lot the previous few years, he was set on teaching me that I could do anything. They were the best years of my life with my Father..
Before I explain what happened that day, I have to give you a little background. Dad wasn't always a nice guy. He had a past of alcoholism, cruelty, and a lot of disappointment. Honestly, he was more a monarch than a Dad. I left home like both of my sisters before me, as soon as I could drive a car.
Becoming best friends with my Father is one of the miracles of my life.
The feeling that Dad desired to experience was a big one... in spite of all his mistakes and the many years of abuse to our family, he wanted to feel that he'd had a great life, full of satisfaction and accomplishment. As he spoke his desire to me, tears started rolling down his cheeks.
Dad had been working on forgiving himself for many years and had become kind and clear, at least in my eyes. Yet, I had a feeling this final quest was going to free him from anything that was left. I felt this endeavor was more important than anything we had ever experienced together.
You know that stillness that happens in side when you become highly aware? When you feel like your awareness expands... and you can hear a pin drop? That's what was happening in me as Dad spoke. I felt my heart open and start talking without my mind getting in the way, I invited him, "Repeat what you're wanting and just notice any thoughts or conclusions that appear to stop you from feeling it."
We did this long enough for Dad to discover and own some heavy beliefs he was still carrying around. As the old ideas appeared, he softly recalled believing them into solidity. To do this together was quite powerful for both of us. He released them all and as the last cluster of energy dissolved, he became very quiet. Feeling so much love for him I sat still. After a couple of minutes he raised his head and with tears streaming down his face he whispered, "I kept them all there to punish myself." I started crying with him as I felt the weight of his words. His honesty felt like a reach through time that somehow was healing both of us from a tortured past. I will treasure this moment forever.
To watch my Dad release the energy blocking him from freedom, and to feel his kindness toward himself before he died, changed my life. We were so present and connected that we both felt the negative energy moving out of the space. I will never forget what happened next. Sitting knee to knee he looked me deep in the eyes and spoke from his heart, "I do have a great life, full of satisfaction and accomplishment." He felt it so fully that it vibrated a wave of love that blanketed us both. Covered in goose bumps, I got to experience my Father giving this gift to himself.
Forgiveness was complete.
Through the most vulnerable and kind eyes I've ever seen on my Dad, he said, "I feel the goodness in me." He stood up slowly, speaking more to himself than to me and stated, "I need to go for a little walk."
We were sitting in a field surrounded by grandfather pines. I felt they were hugging us throughout the process we were in. I watched my Father walk, peacefully taking each step, as though drinking in life. That was the moment I knew he was leaving.
Even though my heart was aching with the awareness of what was coming, some part of me understood... everything was as it was meant to be. I soothed myself by believing... I still had time.
After 63 years of making himself wrong, he finally saw the good in his heart.
Dad passed away 13 weeks later. The day before he died he dropped by the house and handed me a cassette tape with recordings of him reading poetry. He set his briefcase down on my desk and instructed me to split his belongings with my sisters if anything happened to him. I was silent, scrambling for something I could say that would change his mind. I looked up at him and begged, "Dad, please don't go." His eyes welled up with tenderness. I felt him love me so much in that moment that it continues to last throughout time.
The very next day Dad made it twelve holes on the golf course before he sat down, gently laid back, looked up to the sky, and was gone. He was with his best friend.
The profound treasure... my Dad was able to experience that he had a great life full of satisfaction and accomplishment, before he left. Being present when he allowed himself to realize this has been a gift and a lesson that continues to unfold.
Let's allow a little of this feeling in our lives... I have a great life full of satisfaction and accomplishment.
The three steps of Catch & Release are outlined in The Allowing Handbook, available anywhere books are sold.